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Topic: Are original mix tapes always used for releases that require them (surround)? (Read 1536 times) previous topic - next topic
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Are original mix tapes always used for releases that require them (surround)?

This seems like a question with an obvious answer, but i've never spent a lot time in a studio, so i don't want to assume.
 I have a lot of music in surround (dvd-a and sacds).  When i catalog my music on my computer, i like to add a tag that states whether the mastering source was an original or not.  Labels like Mofi and Analogue Productions get a tag of "remastered from original master tapes".

For my surround discs, shouldn't i be giving them a tag of "remixed from original source tapes"?  Do copies of source tapes get made and distributed like masters do, or would the originals always be used to make the remix for a surround release, provided they was of usable quality?  This only apples to surround releases of non-digital material of course.

Also, i note this is not a measure of quality. Even if the originals were used, my 5.1 tracks from the dvd-a of Disturbed's "Believe" still sound like someone shoved the band into a shoe box filled with cotton, stomped on it a few times and put what spilled out onto the disc. According to ffmpeg it has a DR of 9.2, so not terrible. I blame the recording not the mastering. Sad, as it's one of my favorite albums.  
Music lover and recovering high end audiophile

Re: Are original mix tapes always used for releases that require them (surround)?

Reply #1
Leaving aside wholesale upmixes, 'source tapes' of a surround release conceivably can be:

1) if it's a modern rerelease of an old quad (4.0) release, it could be sourced from
-- the original quad master mix tapes
-- a copy of that (a safety copy, a production copy, or a consumer quad reel-to-reel or 8 track)
-- digitization of a decoded SQ or QS or CD4 media (e.g. LP) playback

NB some modern 5.1 releases are 'upmixes' of a 4.0 source (C and LFE content created from the 4.0).

2) if it's a truly new surround mix . then they went back to the original multitracks and created a new master mix.  This is the 'original mix tape' for it.  But NB, sometimes the new master mix created by the mixer is further 'mastered' before release.  Example: for the first issue of the 5.1 mix of Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick Steven Wilson's 5.1 master mix was handed off to Peter Mew who messed with its EQ, compression, etc.  Subsequent issues have reverted to Wilson's 'flat' (unretouched) surround master mix.

A few surround remixes are peculiar hybrids. Miles Davis' Kind of Blue surround mix is sourced from the original 3 track masters for its front L, C, R channels. The surround L and R content was created by playing the 3-track in a reverberant space, recording the ambience with microphones, and adding that as the surround content.

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